For the most part, I see two tactics amongst real estate agents when it comes to using Facebook:
They either ignore Facebook, dismissing it as a nonviable source for lead generation, seeing it as a time suck …
They spend all of their time on Facebook, trying every conceivable tactic they can find, without learning anything about how Facebook works, and most especially, how it can really work for the real estate industry.
The problem is, real estate agents tend to have a shortsighted view of Facebook. Well, of anything for that matter. Their focus tends to be all about “who wants to buy or sell right this instant.”
Why is this a problem? In one sense, it’s not, as picking the low-hanging fruit gives an immediate cash infusion. But it also gives a false sense of satisfaction. A false sense that your business is generating leads and doing just fine. At the same time that you are in the middle of a transaction from low-hanging fruit, you are also worrying about where your next meal is going to come from. Who’s going to be your next transaction.
It’s the perpetual cycle most real estate agents live in their businesses. This cycle is the reason we took the leap and hired a real estate coach in 2010. We were tired of always hunting for our next transaction. He changed our whole view of our business, and it changed our lives.
Until you change your view about “leads,” you’ll never be able to see Facebook (or any lead-generating method for that matter) as anything other than a shortsighted, low-hanging-fruit option.
Facebook is a fantastic resource for generating leads. You can approaching it trying all of the different “tricks” that people are “preaching” at you. Many of them work.
You can approach it as only a short-term solution, but I find that to be a waste of time and money. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to scale your time and money? In other words, if you do something today that takes you two hours and costs you $25 and you get one transaction from it that closes in 30 days, why on earth wouldn’t you want it to also bring you transactions over the next 36 months, at no more cost or time to you?
The only way it’s going to do that is if you step outside of the shortsighted view of Facebook and see Facebook as a lead-generating funnel. A true funnel. One that brings in all kinds of leads — brings them into your nurturing process. You do have a nurturing process, right? One that spans months and years?
Until you see Facebook as being a “hub” of it’s own, with a whole heck of a lot of “spokes” pointing into that hub, and that hub being a funnel that goes into your nurturing process (that is not on Facebook), you’ll always be scrambling for all of the “tactics” and “tricks” people are trying to sell you about using Facebook.
There are dozens of different ways to generate leads via Facebook. Some include (but are not limited to):
- Utilizing your personal profile on a daily basis, by integrating your personal life and your business.
- Engaging with your friends on their profiles, rejoicing in their life events.
- Creating a business page that comes up in graph search.
- Creating and posting content on your business page (more than three times each day), content that comes up in graph search.
- Utilizing headers and profile photos on your business page with solid call-to-action captures.
- Running ads targeted towards your niche getting them to connect to your business page.
- Running ads targeted towards your niche getting them to connect via your capture points.
- Running ads targeted towards your business page fans getting them to connect via your capture point.
- Running ads targeted towards your business page fans getting them to like, share or comment (this pushes your content into more fans’ news feeds).
- Running ads targeted towards your email database getting them to connect to your business page.
- Running ads targeted towards your email database getting them to connect via your capture points.
- Running ads targeted towards look-a-like audiences getting them to connect to your business page.
- Running ads targeted towards look-a-like audiences getting them to connect via your capture points.
- Running “burst” ads focused on short-term events, offers, etc.
Notice something here? Ads are very important on Facebook. However, most agents are blowing up their targeting options by diluting the likes on their business page with every colleague they can convince to “like” their page.
Your Facebook ad success is directly dependent upon the quality of your page likes. If those page likes are colleagues around the country, don’t bother running ads, and don’t bother building your likes further. Start a new page, and this time start it right. Without a page that you’ve highly targeted your likes/fans (in other words, not a page that you’ve asked everyone and their uncle to like), your ability to target and run effective ads is just about useless.
Stop focusing on the short term, on the number of likes, on an ad you spend $100 on and get one closing from. Start focusing on the long term, on the quality of the likes, on the number of those likes that step through to your capture points, on the $100 you spend on ads that gets you one closing now, another closing six months from now, and closings every three to four months over time. From that one little ad.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.